Awesome Smoked Chicken Thighs

I have to say that I have become quite addicted to smoking bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs on my Weber Smokey Mountain smoker. They’re crazy easy and a lot more forgiving than say brisket or pork butt. And when they’re on sale they’re a tremendous bargain. I can fill my freezer with delicious pulled, chopped or shredded smoked chicken for darned near nothing. This right here is my go-to method for awesome smoked chicken thighs. You can use boneless and/or skinless but the bones and skin keep them moist and add tons of flavor. I pull the meat away and just chop it for whatever I want, be it sandwiches, nachos, backed potatoes…
Awesome Smoked Chicken Thighs

I do not sauce my thighs while I’m smoking them. Since I’m not sure exactly how I’ll use the meat I keep it ‘dry’. You can always add sauce later, but you can’t un-sauce it. Well, not easily that’s for sure!

If you prefer your chicken thighs cooked over charcoal, try my grilled sweet-n-spicy chicken thighs.

Awesome Smoked Chicken Thighs

Note: Smoked skin-on thighs will not have a crispy skin because of the low cooking temperature. I prefer to remove the skin, pull the meat away from the bones and chop for sandwiches.
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 14 hours 30 minutes
Author Mike


For the brine

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 can Sprite
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Place chicken into a large resealable container.
  • Whisk together the brine ingredients until the salt has dissolved. Pour over the chicken.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Fire up your smoker for 225 F cooking. Use whichever wood you prefer (I went with apple).
  • Remove chicken from the brine and rinse with cold water.
  • Pat dry then sprinkle liberally with the rub on both sides.
  • Tuck the skin underneath of the thighs and transfer to the smoker.
  • Smoke for 2 hours or more until the internal temperature has reached 165 F.
  • If you wish to sauce your thighs do so in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

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